NFL draft: Tua Tagovailoa goes to the Dolphins with No. 5 pick

Tanking for Tua has reached its summit.

The Miami Dolphins selected Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 5 pick in Thursday’s NFL draft, making the Alabama quarterback their presumed quarterback of the future.

Dolphins invest in protecting Tua

Thirteen picks later, Miami used the No. 18 pick to select USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson to protect their new investment. The Dolphins acquired that pick from the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade.

Prior to last college football season, Tagovailoa was widely projected as the top quarterback prospect in this draft after helping lead Alabama to a national championship and finishing as a Heisman finalist during his first two seasons with the Crimson Tide.

A hip injury suffered during his junior year alongside the ascendancy of Joe Burrow left Tagovailoa as more of a wild card still projected to go near the top of the draft.

Dolphins get their guy

He did not slide, as the Dolphins got the guy they were long projected to have their eyes on despite falling from their presumed spot atop the NFL draft.

Reports on the condition of Taovailoa’s hip have been overwhelmingly positive in the leadup to the draft. But of course nobody knows how it will respond to NFL action once he takes the field, leaving Tagovailoa as a first-round gamble with tremendous upside.

Tua Tagovailoa has found his NFL home. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Tua Tagovailoa has found his NFL home. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Scouting report on Tagovailoa

Tagovailoa is a dual-threat quarterback with an NFL-ready arm. He’s proven himself on college football’s biggest stages as a winner in the SEC. He burst on the scene as a freshman when he replaced Jalen Hurts in the second half of the 2017 national championship game to lead the Crimson Tide from a 13-0 halftime deficit to a 26-23 victory over Georgia.

At 6-foot-0 and 217 pounds, he doesn’t have prototypical NFL size. But that concern dwindles each year in the NFL as smaller quarterbacks like Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield are selected at the top of the draft and find success alongside established smaller quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Drew Brees.

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